Showing posts from June, 2007

Our cessna goes dirty side up

We had a nasty storm last night that was fairly focused on the airport. 4 airplanes were flipped over, including ours. The low wing airplanes on the ramp fared a good bit better, but most of them have holes or other damage, either from debris, or in one case, a high wing airplane flipping over them. A sad day for us. We had plans to take 388 up to watch the July 4 fireworks. K posted some images [ first post ] [ second post ] and here's a short video of our plane:

Cirrus Jet

In case you've yet to hear, yesterday Cirrus took the wraps off their single-engine jet design . It appears to still be a mock up but the general shape and layout of the airplane is now out for all to soak in. I don't think it's as nice looking as their SRs are, but the cockpit sure is interesting - one big piece of glass with no buttons . I don't know if that means they haven't figured out where to put them yet or if it will be a touchscreen. A touchscreen seems like a terrible idea for a airplane in turbulence, but I've never tried it so what do I know? I hope to see one up close at Oshkosh - that's probably my only chance to get near one any time soon as I don't quite have the $100k to put down on a deposit. :) Then again, if I was that rich, I'd probably try to jump up to a Cessna Mustang. Check out the pictures here as well as this little video clip I found on youtube:

ForeFlight on the iPhone

With the big iPhone release day finally here, I thought I'd drop a note about our current software project, in collaboration with Backlight, the makers of . We are creating a new, iPhone-centric, interface for getting airport and weather data in the palm of your hand. We plan to release a beta version soon, which will be usable on the iPhone (of course) as well as via an iPhone simulator in a normal web page. If you're interested in getting on the beta users list, please check out the new site for details.

Rapid fire local flights

Tonight John called to invite me for a ride in the trike. Little did he know that my whole family was in town. Soon all 6 of us were at the airport. John started giving family members rides in the trike and I gave a few in the Cessna 172. But before I did, I took a flight around the pattern to make sure all was in order after the repairs/inspections. The vibrations in the airplane seemed reduced and it performed quite well. I taxied back to pick up my Mom for her first ride in a small airplane. We went out to my neighborhood and back, seeing the sites along the way. After dropping her off I took up my sister and her boyfriend for a similar flight that ended at sunset. John took up my dad, sister, and her boyfriend. Everyone seemed to have a great time, certainly I did. Everyone got some time in the air except for K, who decided she'd stick to camera duty. Jen went up in the trike first: Then Tom went up: I'm in 388 doing the run-up while John and Tom are landing: Me flyi

How I get ready to fly

I thought that since flying will be on hold for a few days I’d write a post about my general preflight routine. Hopefully some of my gracious readers out there will see fit to offer improvements to the process. Local/Short flight I generally start checking the weather about 1-2 days in advance. If it's more than 1 day away I will simply use the standard NOAA weather interface , the one for non-aviation folks. I generally don't trust forecasts more than 2 days old, but it still gives me a general idea of what to expect. Something small to hang my hat on. I used to use the weather channel web site for this purpose but slowly migrated to NOAA instead. When it's less than 1 day before the flight I will start using ForeFlight to view TAFs (terminal aerodrome forecasts) from nearby airports. I have learned to not trust certain military TAFs (Fort Eustis, I'm looking at YOU) since they often don't give a report time for some reason and on rare occasions have weird

No flying - down for repairs

Well, our trusty steed 388 has been out of commission for a while with a nice variety of troubles: broken lower cowling, fried left magento, overdue IFR inspections, currently due annual/ELT checks. This is one of the times owning an airplane is less than ideal, though, on the whole, owning 388 has been an economical pleasure. I haven't PIC'd in 4 weeks and I can feel it - my hand is searching for a yoke like a crack addict looks for the pipe. Time to crank up MS Flight Sim to act as a poor (but fun) substitute. :)

General Aviation - bully of the skies

Today I was flying back from Calgary on United Airlines. While taxiing out to take off for the first leg to Chicago, I started thumbing through the latest issue of United's magazine: Hemispheres. Just a few pages in I saw a title that smelled funny to me: "Smart Skies" . In it, the the President and CEO of the ATA made his pitch to the random United Airlines passengers to support their Smart Skies initiative - not to be confused with NASA's educational site . Reading the write-up made me a little sick to my stomach (as did the cutesy video ). It worries me greatly to think that his arguments are being read by people who have no other knowledge on the subject. All they see are the false arguments that supporting massive tax increases and user fees against general aviation will get their plane to their vacation spot faster and/or cheaper. He even threw in "it will help the environment" by letting his airliners burn less gas; maybe that was a hat tip t